What Do You Think About?

Philippians 4:4-7 ESV

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

We who are believers in Jesus all have things we go through in this life, some minor, and some major. Whether minor or major, they can test our faith. I think sometimes it is easier to handle the major ones, for we are prepared that we are going to face big trials. But it is those little things sometimes which catch us off guard that may test us even more.

But no matter what we are going through, no matter how difficult, no matter how trying and unsettling they may be, we are to rejoice always. But this word “rejoice” means to “delight in God’s grace.” So, we delight in God’s grace which he gives to us to handle the difficult circumstances of our lives, for he does give us grace if we call to him for help, in truth.

We can make it through even the most difficult trials of life by God’s grace, for he will carry us through. He will give us the strength and the wisdom to endure much suffering. For, as he suffered so will we suffer in like manner. And he will alleviate all fears if we will give our circumstances over to him, and if we will trust him to work them out for our good.

One of the things that helps is to always keep in mind that our God is fully sovereign over all that he has made. He has all things under his command, which means our trials and tribulations are under his command, too. Not anything or anyone can touch us unless God allows it, and he allows it for a purpose. Nothing is out of his control.

So, we surrender to God’s purposes even in the midst of great difficulties, we trust him, we believe in his goodness, and we don’t give way to fear. And if Satan tempts us to fear, we respond to that fear with faith. Even if we feel fear in our emotions, we go against those emotions and we respond in faith, and we trust the Lord to work all things out for our good.

This is not to say we do nothing about our circumstances, but what actions we take should be under God’s guidance and control, and it must not be us taking over to “help God out” because we think he is not working fast enough to resolve our issues. Nonetheless, if our toilet is overflowing, we don’t wait for God to stop the flow. We turn the water off so that it stops flooding. For God does give us wisdom to make reasonable decisions.

But when we trust the Lord with the trials of this life, and we don’t give way to fear, but we pray for wisdom and guidance, and we trust in his sovereignty, then the peace of God does fill our hearts and minds. We can be at peace within while storms are raging on the outside if we put our hope and trust in the Lord in all our circumstances.

Philippians 4:8-9 ESV

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

There are some things which are true, but they are not pure, so we should not dwell on those things. But we are not to be people who tell lies or who support or rejoice in other people’s lies including “white lies.” We are not to believe other people’s lies, and we are not to let their lies rule or impact our lives or the decisions we make about life.

We must be people of truth who make it our practice to tell the truth, not to be hateful or nasty, but to speak the truth in love to those who need to hear the truth. To those who are stubborn and unyielding who tell lies to cover up their sinful actions or to throw their “victims” off balance, stronger words may be necessary, at times, such as Jesus spoke to the Pharisees.

But the point here is to teach us the kinds of things we are to have in our minds and that we are to let our minds dwell on. And, on the other end, we are not to entertain in our minds what is deceptive, dishonorable, impure, shameful, immoral, wicked, vain, worthless, unjust, and otherwise contrary to God’s character, his will, and his word.

Therefore, we must be those who guard what we take into our minds. So, we must be discerning regarding what we read, what we watch (view), and what we listen to as a matter of choice. For as the saying goes, “Garbage in, garbage out.” What we take into our minds will impact not only our thinking and believing but will also impact our behaving.

So, this brings me to what we read or what we view or what we listen to coming from preachers, evangelists, pastors, heads of government, the news media, and people in high up and powerful positions in corporations, or in church denominations, or in the government, or in the medical profession, etc. We must be people of discernment, and we must not believe everything they tell us, for there are many liars and deceivers out there.

So, just because “so and so” says it is the truth doesn’t make it the truth, no matter who that person is. Even if they throw out statistics to try to prove they are telling the truth, statistics can be faked or altered or manipulated in order to deceive people and to get them to do things they might not otherwise do.

We, as followers of Jesus, must wake up and realize the signs of the times in which we live and how so much of what is going on today fits with what the Bible described would happen in these last days before our Lord’s return. Many will be deceived. We must not be among the deceived because we didn’t bother to test what we heard in prayer with God.

Rather than just jumping on particular political “bandwagons,” we must stop, step back, and spend much time in prayer, seeking God’s counsel as to whether or not what we are believing is in fact the truth, or whether we have been duped into believing lies meant to manipulate us to go a direction God does not want us to go.

So, don’t be quick to believe everything you hear, but test everything, and know the Scriptures, and make the teachings under the New Covenant what you put into practice. But read the Scriptures in context, for many false beliefs have stemmed from Scriptures taught out of context and made to say something not intended.

Just realize that not everyone is on the “up and up.” We can’t trust everything people tell us. We have to test everything in prayer and then make certain that the things we allow our minds to dwell on are the things God desires that we think about. And he may have us think about the evil that is going on in the world because he wants us to confront such evil.

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

2 thoughts on “What Do You Think About?

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